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Kathy and Vic's Family Photos
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Our New Baby Kitty

Click here to see the League For Animal Welfare's site -- they are a wonderful no kill shelter in Batavia, Ohio!

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Here's our new baby right after we brought her home. She still has a little butter on her paw (I put butter on her paw so she would wash it off and feel more at home, a time-honored trick for making kitties feel more at home.)

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Phoebe makes herself at home in our breakfast nook

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Phoebe believes that she's entitled to ignore the laws of gravity and sit on Mommy.

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Phoebe loves our clothes... whenever she can, she climbs into our duds!

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Ahhhh! A nap in mom's jeans... what could be more cozy?

PHOEBE NIEMER AND THE HOUSE SLIPPER OF DOOM:
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10/20/02
 
We have noticed lately that most days when we come home, one or more of my slippers will be in the dining room.  This is strange since I left them in the bedroom.  Finally, we figured it out.  Phoebe stalks them.  She seems to feel they are enemies worthy of great respect and fear.  She circles the slipper of the moment, carefully keeping her distance till she works up her courage and then darts in, slaps the slipper with her paw and darts away.  Over time, this slapping causes them to slip on the carpet.  We do not believe that she is actually dragging or carrying them into the dining room due to the fact that our experiment putting "mousie-mousie" (her favorite of all toys) inside a slipper caused her great agitation but she never liberated Mousie.  She staked him out and sat and watched him, though.  Finally, I got him loose because she was clearly upset.

8/22/02
 
Phoebe continues to amaze us with her ability to play fetch.  She is always simply wild with desire to have us throw something.  Vic is bombarded by meowing from the moment he walks in the door at night.  She gets so agitated that sometimes her mouth hangs open and she pants with excitement while waiting for him to throw the mousie.  We have learned we cannot say the words "mouse" or "mousie" without dire consequences.
 
Phoebe also still believes that she is completely entitled to transcend gravity and sit on my chest, in spite of the fact that she's now quite a bit larger than she was when we brought her home.  I have perpetual scratches on my back and shoulder where she climbs up the back of my chair and across me to get to her spot under my chin.  Attempts to move her are considered traitorous.  This is a very spoiled kitty cat.

6/6/02
 
Phoebe had a rough day today... she spent the day at Dr. Hennehen's Animal Hospital in Milford and was spayed.  All things considered, she's okay but she doesn't feel too perky just yet.  She HATED the cone they gave her to keep her from licking stitches and because we were afraid she would strangle herself on it, we have tentatively taken it off.  She slept most of the evening, refusing cat food.  About 10 PM, she got up and wanted up on my chest (her favorite place).  She perched there for quite a while. 

4/10/02 Our little Phoebe continues to amaze us.  She has taught herself to fetch.  She brings her mousie (a/k/a "Shaky Mouse") and drops it at our feet and then sits, poised to chase it.  The moment we shake it and toss it, she's on it.  She is so fast and trots right back with it in her mouth and drops it back at our feet.  Patches watches in awe and some confusion.  She chases the mousie too, but before she gets to enjoy playing with him, Phoebe has him snatched up and back again.  We are so proud of her.  Of course, if she would commence sleeping all night and not waking up at 4:21 AM to give me kitty-cat kisses and knead my face with her claws, I'd be even MORE proud!

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Phoebe brings back her soccer ball!

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Phoebe drops her soccer ball and waits for us to throw again!

3/21/02  We have birds in our drier vent.  Vic is going to get them out (AGAIN!) but he hasn't yet and the cats are very agitated by the rustling of birds in there.  Last night I went ahead and dried some clothes (Vic said it wouldn't hurt) and this must have stirred the birds up.  A little later I was drying my hair when Patches started coming to me from the laundry room and crying and then running back.  She was just like Lassie when Timmy is in the well.  (We think that Patches thinks she is Phoebe's mother, she seems very protective of her).  It took me a while to realize that she was not just trying to get me to go to bed like she does Vic and for it to gel in my mind that she really wanted something.  So I shut off the hair drier and followed her to the laundry room.  Once there, I could hear Phoebe meowing and could hear her scratching frantically, trying to climb out.  Turns out she was BEHIND THE WATER HEATER!

Now some background on the room.  It's very narrow and the back by the water heater is just wide enough with NO excess space.  The former owners built plywood shelves that hang across that narrow wall and we store a LOT of stuff on them.  She got behind it by climbing the shelves and then fell behind the water heater into the back corner.

I was frantic and had no idea how to reach her.  I thought I would have to call the fire department to move the water heater but ran and woke poor Victor up -- he'd been asleep about 1/2 an hour.  He got up, and scratched his head for a minute and then we started unloading all the stuff off the shelves.  6 large cans of coffee, a case of Kleenexes, cat litter, about a case of bath gel, boxes with Christmas stuff, boxes with Vic's flower bulbs he plants every spring, a stack newspapers and a box of disposable gloves and some Spic & Span from when I used to clean up after Woody.  Then he took the shelves down.  He got a large bath towel out of the linen closet and draped it over the water heater so it went down the back and he went "cat fishing".  Pretty soon, she figured it out and grabbed onto it and he pulled her up.  I would never have thought of it.

She was dusty but none the worse for wear.  I was really glad I hadn't trimmed her nails this week as I usually do.  She purred and was VERY lovey the rest of the evening!  She and Patches both curled up with me and I had STEREO purring when I went to bed a little later.  They both seemed very relieved!

Our new baby kitty was born on November 28th, 2001 and was adopted by us on 1/26/02 from the League for Animal Welfare. The League had named her Rainbow but we feel she is better suited as Phoebe. In fact, her full name is now Phoebe Rene' Niemer.  We thought at first that she was a calico, but as we study her unusual markings, we have concluded that she is actually a mix of both black and yellow tabby.  She has totally unique markings.

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Phoebe sleeps happily, suspended on my hand and feels completely entitled to do so.

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If you have chatted with me online lately and wondered why I suddenly am not typing as well as before, well, here's why. Phoebe feels completely entitled to sleep draped across me and to accomodate her, I tend to sit in a semi-reclining position. She sleeps soundly, completely certain of her total safety. She knows I will not let her fall.

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The League for Animal Welfare had named her Rainbow. Here she is with a rainbow on her -- you know how kitties love to sit in a sun spot and one with rainbows was even better. This almost convinced me to name her Rainbow, but we are really convinced that Phoebe suits her. We named her Phoebe Rene' and feel that Rene' sounds enough like Rainbow to make her feel comfy while still being as sophisticated as we believe she will be as she grows and matures.

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Phoebe is a scamp just like most kittens her age. She runs through the house at full speed, leaps into chairs, and jumps onto everything she can reach.
 

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After playing, Phoebe likes to find a soft, warm place to hide for a nap. The cave made by Mom's pillow meets all her needs!

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She has a voracious appetite and eats almost as much as Patches does -- she says "watch me grow!"

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Baby Phoebe spent all night sleeping by Mommy's side and purring happily. She was afraid at first because Vic was snoring but after a few minutes she came back and slept all night. Vic and I have an agreement that she will be Mommy's kitty and Vic will continue to maintain his close relationship with Patches. We hope that this will ensure a better relationship between the two.

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It only took about a day for Patches and Phoebe to start playing together and chasing each other through the hall. Patches is very good natured and we believe that the fact that Vic always hands the baby kitten to me and she has him to herself has helped curtail the natural jealousy. And besides, Patches loves to play and lost her play mate when Woody got sick. Here's someone who simply won't take no for an answer.

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"It took me a while, but now I can get up in the window like Patches!"

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Sleeping in mom's sock drawer

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Phoebe often naps in the top of the kitty play gym

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Phoebe and Patches both love the kitty play gym that Vic brought home a few months ago.
 

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Now that's a cute face!

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As you can see, Patches (who no longer looks tiny to us) endures a constant barrage of abuse as her tail is constantly chased, batted at and chewed by Phoebe.
 

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At times, Patches runs out of patience with this tiny intruder -- fortunately, she never play too rough even though she gets her point across!

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Phoebe has a couple of very strong opinions already. One: that I am incapable of doing anything on the computer without her very valuable assistance and two: that she is completely entitled to defy gravity and sleep on my chest, nestled under my chin at any time and that I am obligated to do whatever it takes to keep her there.

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Note Phoebe's interesting coloring -- she has black stripes on her right upper front and back paws and orange stripes on her left upper front and back paws. Very symetrical.

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Check back often and watch me grow!